Introduction: What would you do if an angel from God spoke to you? What if he said God was going to work miracles on your body? That very thing happened twice in Luke 1, to the father of John the Baptist and the mother of Jesus. We are going to look at the section about Mary and Gabriel because there are some valuable lessons for us.
I. Mary’s reaction
A. There was nothing special about Mary as far as we know
1. Why God chose her instead of another girl, God didn’t reveal
2. In Jewish tradition a girl was normally betrothed in the thirteenth year and for legal but not domestic purposes was from that point on considered to be married. Around a year later the girl was taken to the bridegroom’s home for normal married life to begin. Sexual relations prior to this “taking home” would be considered a violation of marriage customs. WBC
3. Betrothal lasted for a year and was quite as binding as marriage. It could be dissolved only by divorce. Should the man to whom a girl
was betrothed die, in the eyes of the law she was a widow. In the law there occurs the strange-sounding phrase, "a virgin who is a widow."
4. So, Mary was probably a normal 13 year old from her culture (Do not try to understand her apart from our culture)
B. diatara/ssw - greatly disturb, perplex, throw into great confusion; only passive in the NT - be greatly perplexed or troubled
Wouldn’t you be, if you were in her situation?
C. dialogi¿zomai - reasoning inwardly, think about thoroughly, consider carefully, reason out
1. Our relationship with God is based on faith, which is based on thinking
2. Nothing wrong with feelings, but they can’t be trusted when it comes to our relationship with God
D. Mary's question to the angel in vs. 34 is puzzling. If she was engaged to be married to a descendant of David, as Joseph is explicitly described in vs. 27, why should she ask how this was going to happen and say I am a virgin (lit. `I do not know a man' in the sense of having sexual relations with him)? Would not the child be the natural result of her impending
marriage? Some have argued that Mary had taken a vow of virginity, but this would have been impossible for a Jewish girl engaged to be married. She may have taken the angel to be referring to an immediate conception which would have been out of the question before marriage.
Whatever the explanation, the question enabled the angel to explain more fully that Mary's son would not be a merely human being, adopted by God as his Son. NBC
1. Mary’s question is not understood to be colored by doubt.
2. She may be simply seeking more information
E. Vs. 38
1. dou/lh - female slave, maidservant, slave woman; figuratively, of a woman's relationship to God or Christ - servant, handmaiden
2. Whatever God says is OK with me
3. Are you as submissive to God as Mary?
II. The son to be born
A. He will be born of a virgin
a. No other Bible writer mentions it except Matthew
b. Some say he had to be naturally conceived in order to be a proper human
c. Joseph is called Jesus’ father
2. To take the Scriptures for what they say is to accept the Virgin Birth; to deny it is to deny the authority of Scripture
3. Since Jesus was special, you would expect a special entrance into the world
4. While difficulties no doubt remain, there seems to be no adequate basis for abandoning the essential historicity of the tradition of a virginal conception of Jesus. WBC
B. His name would be Jesus / Joshua - a common name vs. 31
C. Great - widely known and esteemed vs. 32
D. Will be called - In Semitic idiom klhqhvsetai means “will be recognized to be” rather than referring specifically to a verbal act WBC
E. Son of the Highest One (God)
1. “Son” here is a designation of the messiah and is ultimately dependent on such texts as 2 Sam 7:12–16; 1 Chr 22:9–10; Ps 2:7; Ps 89:26–29, which play an important role in the development of the messianic hope. Sonship is an exalted status and relationship with God experienced by the messiah. WBC
2. He would be a king in the line of David and be called the Son of God,
like Solomon, and he would rule over David's realm - but for ever. These expressions indicated that the child was to be the Messiah, although the actual word is not used. NBC
F. Reign forever vs. 35
1. The early Jews understood “kingdom” to refer to something like David had in Jerusalem.
2. Jesus’ view
a. Luke 17:21 e)nto/j - adverb of place - within, inside; among (you), in (your) midst (inside of you as an individual or inside of you as a group)
b. Jesus uses “the kingdom of heaven is like” to introduce 7 parables, 6 in Matt 13 and one in Matt 20
G. Holy vs. 36
III. God’s involvement with the birth
A. Sent his angel, Gabriel
B. God’s power would come upon or overshadow Mary vs. 35
1. e)pe/rxomai - come along, appear; of what comes from heaven - come (down) on
2. e)piskia/zw - literally, as darkening by partially blocking out a source of light - overshadow, cast a shadow on; of a cloud cover; figuratively, of the effectual presence of God - overshadow, rest on, come to
C. God was involved with your birth
1. Physical birth Psalm 71:6
2. Spiritual birth
3. Therefore, he calls us to be holy
a. Leviticus 11:44-45
b. Leviticus 19:2
c. Leviticus 20:26
d. I Peter 1:15-16
Conclusion: The Kingdom is with us; not will be with us. Are we serving the King or ourselves? Are we submissive like Mary? Are we living in a holy way, like our King is holy? Answer for yourself!